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July 9, 2014
SARAH GWYNN:Â Welcome to The Scottish Open.Â Your thoughts on being here and and the tournament.
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Yeah, time I get to spend over here, looking down the coast and seeing the different courses, it makes me want to come over and have a guys week and go play golf, and not even play a tournament, just show up and play 36 holes every day.Â So I definitely enjoy being here.
Q.Â Intrigued to know about how much you know about how golf came to America and the Scots that bought it there?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â No, I'm not.Â You may have to inform me on that one.
Q.Â Have you ever heard of a guy called John Reid, who is called the father of American golf ?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â No.
Q.Â How about Donald Ross?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Oh, yeah.
Q.Â He'd be one of the pioneers, and he's still mentioned now.Â A guy like him, what would he mean to you in terms of playing these courses?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Well, I've definitely enjoyed playing a lot of the old‑style courses.Â I grew up learning the game from an older gentleman who was definitely more old school.Â Didn't grow up learning how to exactly swing a golf club.
It was more learning how to play the game, and I think that's why I appreciate links golf maybe more than a lot of guys in the younger generation from the U.S.Â I enjoy coming over here and kind of playing the golf courses and using the imagination to get around and hit different shots.Â You don't get a whole lot of that in the U.S.Â You get some of it with the older courses, but yeah, it's fun for me to come over here and just have some fun playing golf.
Q.Â Does it feel very different here?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â No.Â I mean, it is different as far as it's a different style of golf than at home but to me, I enjoy playing it so much that it doesn't‑‑ I don't feel out of place here.Â I may have a different‑‑ I may talk a little different than the local Scots but‑fit in on the golf course.
Q.Â Given what you've just said there and your partial knowledge much the history of golf, what would it mean to you to win a golf tournament at the Home of Golf?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Well, being that I played my first Open Championship at St. Andrews, that was probably one of the highlights of my career, playing well there.Â And to be able to play here in the Scottish Open and to go and look at like what Phil did last year, winning The Scottish Open, it would definitely be special.
I just enjoy playing over here when it's in a tournament or not, and playing well and enjoying it. Now, if I can hoist a trophy at the end of the week, that would be icing on the cake.
Coming over here and knowing that the tournament was going to be on a good links course, it was going to be a great warm up for next week.Â And to get into the time change and to get the body ready, and to really be ready to play this week and make sure the game is ready to go for next week.
Q.Â When was the last really, really hard shot you pulled off in competition that you might not have thought you really could?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Trying to think of something at Pinehurst.Â I know I hit some really good shots there that didn't end up on the green.Â That was the case a bit.Â But no, I'm not sure.Â I did‑‑ trying to think of‑‑ there was one in the practise round there that I tried to pull off that I thought I did but I didn't.Â I think it's more the shots‑‑ I don't really attempt shots that I don't think I can pull off.Â One of the ones that was fun was Sunday on 16 at Pinehurst, left of a tree over the stairs, right of the stands.
Q.Â What is that feeling like when you do pull it off?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â I think I closed my eyes when I hit it.Â Because it was a big enough gap, but to make sure 4‑iron clears the staircase that's ten feet tall, and is probably, I don't know, 40 feet in front of me.Â To make sure you get it up and not push it and hit the tree, and then I thought about the railing on the left there.
So, all right, just don't think about it and hit your line.Â I hit a great shot and ended up actually further right than I thought I could get it.Â That was a great par.
Q.Â The forecast is for some poor weather maybe tomorrow.Â If I remember correctly at Royal St. George's in The Open on the Saturday, it was miserable, and you seemed to relish that.Â Can you talk about that just the challenge weather on a links course provides?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Yeah, I kind of look at it as far as links golf, with the amount of options and the way you can play around the courses, when you do get poor weather like that, I think it can‑‑ I believe it can almost play easier than it does with poor weather in the States.Â You can run the ball on the ground and use the golf course a little bit more.
This course is a bit narrow in spots and it may be a little tougher.Â It's going to be definitely tough tomorrow if the weather comes in like expected.Â But for the most part it's just going into it with the right kind of mind‑set and looking at it as a challenge and not really letting it bother or affect you.Â And I had a lot of fun on that Saturday at St. George's.Â I looked at it as Ia challenge and if I went out and played well, I was able to kind of jump a lot of people.Â I think some guys don't exactly take it the right way and then it kind of‑‑ it can be a setback for sure.
Q.Â The conditions amongst the worst you've ever played on a links course at that time?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Yeah, probably hands down the worst I've played.Â Windy and rainy and you couldn't use an umbrella because it was blowing pretty good and it wasn't warm out.Â So it was brutal but fun.
Q.Â You Tweeted recently abouta car accident you were involved in and wonder the extent of it?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Yeah, all good.Â Obviously here, I got some good work in at home over the weekend.Â I was able to get some more practise in.Â I was in a car accident last Tuesday.Â Couple cuts here and there, but made sure when I was getting checked out, made sure everything was good and everything felt all right.Â No, just glad I'm all right and able to be here this week.
Q.Â Were you the man gripping the wheel?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â I was.
Q.Â Phil said with the boys getting together at Gleneagles down the road, if things worked out, you might try to hook up at some stage.Â Is that something you'll consider as well or is it a distraction in your first Scottish Open?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â If I could link up with him and things worked out, I'd love to.Â First priority this week is playing well here, and getting the game ready to be in contention, kind of go through the checklist, see where we're at and get ready for next week.Â I'd say the ultimate goal for the year is to be on The Ryder Cup Team.
So whatever I can do to get myself there, that's the priority.
Q.Â After knocking on the door of the last two majors, how has that changed your mind‑set as you look forward to Hoylake next week?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Kind of mind‑set going into the year, working with Butch, mind‑set was to be ready to go contend at Augusta, and from there get ready to play the majors for the year and be in contention there.
So Augusta was a big step forward, being that I had a couple good finishes and then was able to prepare myself and go have a good week there.Â And then did the same thing for the U.S. Open.Â That's been mind‑set for the year is to really go and get ready for the major championships and go put myself in contention.
So if I can put myself like I did in the last two majors in the final two majors coming up, it's definitely been the most cuts I've missed in a season, but I will look at it as a great success if I can be in contention at all four majors and have the finishes.Â So right now that's the main focus, play well in the majors and don't look back.
Q.Â Given your obvious affection for links golf, does the Open give you as good a chance or better chance?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â I think that's going to be one of my better chances moving ready to.Â But initially playing links golf and playing well in a couple Open Championships, I thought it was my best option and best chance at a major.
Q.Â What's your philosophy on golf?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Definitely making sure I'm focused and ready to hit golf shots.Â Sometimes I get a little quick and go through the motions a little too quickly.Â Obviously when I'm home, I definitely like to play quick and enjoy it and go have fun with the buddies.Â I can have fun out here if I'm making birdies, so see if we can make sure that we go through the process that the majors, especially the U.S. Open a couple weeks ago, I went through kind of the process before the shot and made sure I was ready to hit each golf shot.Â You know, doing that, I was able to focus when I needed to and then let go and relax and have some fun out there at the same time.
Q.Â What do you know about Scotland as a country, history and politics?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â I don't know much.Â I just know that I love the golf courses over here and they got it all started.Â I think I'll keep it at that for now.Â I'm just excited to be here because I love playing the golf over here when I can.
Q.Â Be intrigued to know what your favourite hole is in Open Championship golf.
RICKIE FOWLER:Â I haven't played the whole rotation yet.Â It going to be at St. Andrews.Â Just trying to go through the holes and think what it's going to be.
I like 1 and 18, the scenery and the surrounding.Â I wouldn't say they are very defining golfer holes by any means.Â They are pretty straightforward.Â It's almost impossible to hit it OB, especially on 1.Â But that's the Home of Golf and definitely a cool place right there.
Q.Â Michelle credited having your yardage book and Keegan's for winning the U.S. Open.
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Well, I think Keegan tried to take too much credit.Â (Laughter) yeah, Michelle had text me, it was actually Thursday right before my round, and I usually have my phone with me, if a close friend or whatnot texts me or whatnot.Â Just an easy way to kind of keep me calm and go through the motions and she asked if she could have my book after the week.Â Told her, you know, that was no problem.Â Gave me a little extra added pressure on Friday, though, because I was making sure, I've got to make the cut to make sure I get all my notes in there for Saturday and Sunday.
So it was kind of fun for me throughout the week to kind of leave some notes in there as far as leaves to pins.Â They played very similar pins that we did.Â You know, how the course played and kind of where you could and couldn't hit it.Â Left some funny notes in there, and I know there was some stuff she was able to laugh at as she went around and in those certain spots during the tournament.Â How much it helped, I'm not sure.Â But I had her sign the yardage book and I'll have that forever.
Q.Â Golf has given you a fat lifestyle; Rory was in here mentioning having a guys's week.Â Do you miss that side of having fun with your mates back home?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â Yeah, I definitely wouldn't trade it or change anything that's for sure.Â Yeah, I know there's a lot of buddies or other guys that play golf and stuff, they talk about going and having a week trip and going playing golf.Â Sometimes it's hard just finding a week that I have off to go do something like that.
Last year I got to spend six days out in the Hamptons right before the Playoffs in the U.S. and got to go play some of the courses out there, Shinnecock and National, Sebonack, and that was probably one of the first times I had actually had kind of a golf week where I just week and went and played golf at different courses.Â I'll have an off‑week at home and play a bunch of golf and have games, but as far as being somewhere just to go play different courses I've never played before, definitely doesn't happen very much.
I think a lot of people think and thought I've played a lot of different courses around the world.Â But I haven't played much outside tournament golf.Â So I definitely would like to see more courses and have those opportunities to do some weeks over here.Â A lot of guys talk about going to Bandon Dunes and playing there.Â It's on the bucket list.Â Just got to check them off at some point.
Q.Â If you had to create an ideal guys week, what would it consist of?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â I would come over, play over here and probably hop over to Ireland at some point, too, and play some courses.Â It probably wouldn't be just a week.Â Need a little more than that.Â A month or two.
Q.Â Where and when did you first come over to Scotland and get your first taste of links golf?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â I think my first one, I played the Palmer Cup, Gail's Links.Â It was fun.Â Just any kind of links golf, play it on the ground and have some fun.Â Definitely like the wind blowing.Â I enjoy it.Â I grew up on a driving range that was basically just a buried piece of land and you had to use your imagination to learn how to hit golf shots and with links golf, in a way, you kind of have to imagine it like that and create your own golf shot and hit it.
So I just enjoyed it, playing some courses, they get firm at home, and being able to come over here and actually play true links golf has been fun for me.
Q.Â Are you starting to feel older on Tour with the younger boys coming through?
RICKIE FOWLER:Â A little bit when I'm paired in a threesome and I'm the oldest guy.Â Starting to feel like a vet out here.Â This is my fifth year on Tour.Â Getting up there.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports